ATHENS, Greece — State-employed archaeologists in Greece launched strike action Tuesday to protest an assault on an archaeologist on the island of Mykonos, an attack they say may have been linked to commercial pressure to extend tourism development.
Archaeologist Manolis Psarros was beaten by two unidentified men on the island last week and was left unconscious and bleeding in the street. The 53-year-old was later transported to a state hospital in Athens.
Archaeologists employed by the Culture Ministry staged a five-hour work stoppage to protest what their association described as a “mafia-style attack.” They were joined by ministry employees in Athens as well as the national Association of Archaeological Conservators.
Planning permission in Greece is often subject to a veto by the local archaeological service, which is tasked with protecting the country’s ancient heritage.
One of Greece’s best known holiday destinations, Mykonos was settled in ancient times and hosts an archaeological museum. It is located next to the tiny and uninhabited island of Delos, an ancient center for trade, politics, and religion that is considered to be one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites.
The Culture Ministry condemned the assault, while Mykonos Mayor Constantinos Koukas described the incident as a “criminal and brazen attack that has shocked us all.”
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